Red C Poll: 30% of Irish people prefer small or no party candidates…

So, in Ireland the public volatility continues. Here’s the latest SPB poll

FG 22% (-4)

LP 8% (NC)

FF 18% (NC)

SF 22% (+2)

Ind/Small Parties 30% (+2)

Judging by the reaction of Sinn Fein supporters on Twitter, a huge relief that the Cahill scandal has had not effect on its support (as is customary on here we’re treating a 2% rise as being safely margin of error). In fact their real source of delight has to be the continuing and potentially serious damage to the traditional parties of Government.

Voter volatility is threatening to eat any form of collective action. The parallels with Britain are striking.

At the core of the problem is the fact there is no money with which to formulate the sort of short term actions that generally define the differences between Labour and Tory, Fine Gael and Labour… Noel Whelan nailed the detail of that here:

It bears repeating that the underlying social and economic factors that were at play in the dramatic outcomes of the 2011 general election still persist, and many of them will be more intense when the next election comes.

Unemployment is falling but the bulk of those unemployed in 2011 will still be unemployed in the spring of 2016; and while most of them were short-term unemployed then they will be long-term unemployed at the time of the next election.

Thousands and thousands of those at work are feeling increasingly squeezed even before they have to pay for water charges. The small tax cuts announced in the recent budget will not improve their mood much.

Those many, many householders who are trapped in property-related or other bank debt and who felt able to “kick the can” down the road at the start of the current economic crisis now find their situation has crystallised and the banks are being more belligerent.

At a point like this, there appears to be little opportunity cost in voting for none of the above

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  • In Ireland? Really? Perhaps you mean 30% of Irish people, south of the Border, Mick?

  • SaffronDuck

    Sorry that analysis reads a little/lot like begrudgery to SF. Shinners joint leading party despite major onslaught seems the story. A strong polling position being consisently reinforced. Margins of errors stop being relevant after a trend is established. All their rises have been within the margin of error. The totality over time is way beyond error factors. Writing each gain off as within the margin of error but never reflecting over time the poll gains are real is almost misleading.

  • SaffronDuck

    Also very significant their polling in ROI is now getting so close to their actuals in NI (almost matched within margin of error). They’ve never had that before.

  • mickfealty

    Yep, I can see perfectly well why you might take that view, except SF’s level is not a novel aspect of the poll. Nor indeed is the lead of Independents/others.

    It’s the extent of that lead for a sector of TDs who cannot by definition lead a government and the collapse of the last ‘respectable’ party (FG) in the south that’s worthy of note.

  • Saffron, the reporting is consistent with how this story has been reported in the MSM. Here is how RTE reported it for instance: http://www.rte.ie/news/2014/1122/661760-poll-suggests-fine-gael-support-down-four-points/ You are correct in identifying the inherent bias in how such polls are presented.

  • SaffronDuck

    Mick, the Independent vote needs at least three caveats for proper analysis:

    1: As it is not of likeminded voters including Greens, AAA, PBP and former FF gene pool as well as anti-politics candidates and left/anti-austerity candidates in various guises it will never return its poll percentage to actual TDS

    2. As its not an ideological bloc it won’t transfer direct to other Independents

    3. It has geographical constrictions. It’ll be heavily weighted in certain areas.

  • SaffronDuck

    The seeming collapse of FG is indeed notable. However, you seemed to pitch this as a Independents story when it seems that SF are teflon and increasingly likely to deliver the largest party in the next Dail (bigger than the collective ragbag Inds)

  • Red Priest

    Really? There’s nothing terribly new in these sort of numbers for FG or FF for that matter. There’s no story there beyond what we know.

    On the other hand, you’ve hammered the Cahill story for a month (and I do mean you specifically), minimum, Mick, along with the ‘mainstream’ media. And that’s all fair enough, no problem, the site’s agenda isn’t particularly hidden, or up for debate.

    But in a country that has twice recently gone into government threatening convulsions over the handling of child abuse (Brendan Smyth, and then the wider Ryan report), for SF to escape practically unscathed (!!) not once but twice (!!), and still be on verge of being first party, dismissing that story reads like…shall we call it ‘willfullness’?

  • SaffronDuck

    Though I would add its a terrible result from the Irish public imo. If after decades of abuse scandals from the State’s favoured religion covered up by politicians for the nation to be so angry about those in power nearly a quarter of them don’t give a shit about declaring support for a party being linked to abuse as long as they can give two fingers to the man shows that proclamation thing really doesn’t hold a special place in a lot of hearts.

  • Robin Keogh

    Mick, your figures I think are inaccurate, those poll results reflect voting intensions in the Republic of Ireland. There are no poll stats at present for Ireland.

  • weidm7

    >The parallels with Britain are striking.

    Actually, the parallels are striking across Europe, Spain, Italy, France, Greece, or indeed any country that is going through long-term economic difficulty.

    Anyway, if anyone wants to read my analysis of the poll, it’s here: http://waterfordinquirer.wordpress.com/2014/11/24/red-c-sunday-business-post-poll-drop-for-fine-gael-small-gain-for-sinn-fein-and-small-parties/

  • mickfealty

    I do have failings you know. But on this count, and against past polls, the movement IS in FG vote (four points down and eight from a base at the exit of the Troika), not the SF one.

    And 30% actively say none of the above? That’s not don’t knows, that’s none of them. How is that not the story?

    I try as much as I can to be scrupulously fair in these matters. Check the archives if you don’t trust my word: http://goo.gl/uQrKe?

    I don’t want to be rude or discourage new (if anonymous) commenters. I’m happy to stand or fall by my analysis. But here at least black should not be wilfully construed as white.

  • Megatron_

    It may be customary to treat a 2% rise as within margin of error but it is incorrect to assume nothing has changed. In fact it is highly likely support has increased (about 85% chance rather 95% if you clear the 3% (numbers are rounded so it is far closer). It also as has been noted earlier leads you to missing a series of rises. So one 4% fall is big news but two 2% rises are within margin of error. I know it is a small thing but might be helpful to encourage debate if lazy shortcuts were avoided which can encourage shouts of bias.

  • mickfealty

    Saff, we’ve had no evidence that SF are anything other than Teflon.

  • Reader

    “the name of the State is Éire, or, in the English language, Ireland”.
    I’m just quoting it for your benefit. I personally don’t feel bound by the terminology used or defined in the Irish constitution.

  • Red Priest

    Perhaps then, Mick, I see a disconnect between what the story is, and what you’d like the story to be. But no matter.
    It’s patently clear there is a seismic realignment happening.
    I would argue FF are actually the bigger victims at the moment – which given it’s historic strength is itself shocking. Fine Gael are still going to either have Taoiseach, or leader of the oppostiion on these figures – in a sense, no change there since the CnG days.
    FF are in serious danger of being the ‘fourth’ power behind FG, SF, and whatever the NOTA morphs into – no such mass can remain free molecules forever – coalesence will occur.
    Their (FF) only route out of that may be a historically defining Harris-solution pact with FG that would all but rob both parties of their separate Civil War based meanings, and mark a final victory for FG-ism over its slightly wilder brother.
    And of course, politics being what it is, almost certainly cement SF semi-permanantly as one the new two ‘top dogs’ around which the rest of politics orbits. Worse things could happen for SF to face being on the oppo benches post the next election as the lead oppo party to an unhappy FG/FF Alliance. Indeed, strategically if not tactically, it might be preferable at this point to winning but needing a still formless and thus unreliable NOTA backing.
    *NOTA=None Of The Above